Saturday, 23 March 2013

Put the "me" into perimenopause

I saw a concerning post from Jenny Lawson, better known as The Bloggess, this morning.
"After a long night of ambulances and hospitals, it wasn't a heart attack," she wrote. "They don't know what it was."
Her story is similar to that of Shyla's mom who has been a frequent flyer these days at one of the local hospitals. She, too, was convinced she was having a heart attack.
Jenny famously suffers from anxiety. Ditto Angie.
While Jenny is young, Angie is not-that-young.
Both got the same answer from medical professionals.
Secretly, the medpros are calling it as they see it, "whack job," "middle age crazy", "hypochondriac", "hysteric".
That's because what medical professionals know about wimmen could fit in a box of Tic Tacs.
What's interesting is that, as suddenly as the symptoms appear, they vanish, at say around 55.
I know.
I suffered for ten years with debilitating panic, heart palpitations, heaving chest pains, a head that felt like it was imploding. Now I'm fine.
That because of two things. I am now officially through perimenopause and into menopause and I take medication for high blood pressure.
Perimenopause is an absolutely destroyer of women. It takes a normally healthy person and turns her into a leaking, burbling mess. And yes, it raises your blood pressure to volcanic proportions.
Yet most docs discount it because they don't know what to do with it.
So they give the girls pamphlets on how to manage stress or they put them on antidepressants (not hormone replacement!).
Fact is, the girls aren't crazy.
They are end-stage hormonal.
Little advice? A goblet of red wine usually does the trick.
What's puzzling is that our mums didn't seem to have the same difficulties. My mum had hot flashes, for sure, but she wasn't high tailing it to the hospital with chest pains.
Perhaps the stressors of living in our age have added something to the mix.
Our children are somehow needier. Most of us work full time outside the home. We lean in instead of leaning back. We don't have the same social support at a critical time. We have to look after our parents. We spend too much time watching Dr. Oz.
Meanwhile, our husbands have checked out.
Whatever the reason, perimenopause is a bitch.
And yet the feminists have chosen to ignore this very serious medical issue.
We're supposed to work as hard and be as strong as our male counterparts.
We're supposed to hide behind the curtains and cry silently in bathrooms, lest we be labelled as not as resilient as men.
In a world where there are more women than men, this is really fucked up.
It's time for a movement.
It's time we stopped looking after everybody else and started looking after ourselves.
It's time we recognized that perimenopause is the greatest threat to women's mental and physical health. Take it out of the shadows, as they say. Call it what it is: a patriarchal God's assault on women.
Seriously, medpros need to get a better grip on how to deal with perimenopause.
The stress and anxiety it causes shows up later in heart disease, breast cancer and in my case, high blood pressure.
Governments need to devote resources to it.
There should be a foundation.
We can't run because we leak, but we can fight.
As King George once remarked: "I have a voice".
Yes, you do.
Truth is, it does get better.
But I never would have believe it.
Since I went through menopause, half my medical complaints have disappeared.
I still flash like a perv, but my orifices have dried up. My head is clear. I can attend a party without looking to dive off the balcony.
So advice, young ladies. When you're pulse is racing and your head is in a fog, put your feet up, turn off the lights. Put on your iPod. And open a bottle of your best plonk.
Yeah, and tell your husbands to go fuck themselves.
Put the "me" in perimenopause.
You're welcome.

Disclaimer: Rose Simpson is in no way a medical professional. She bases this advice solely on her own experience and frequent visits to WebMD.

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